Meditation Retreats are increasing in popularity throughout the world offering participants the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to a quiet and restful location where one can take an inward journey of self-discovery. At Guang Jue Buddhist Temple in China people come from across the globe for temple stay and meditation retreat.
Guang Jue Monastery is situated near the small town of Zaoxi, West of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang Province in China. It is surrounded by scenic bamboo forested mountains and immersed in pure silence apart from the sound of birds during the day and the small bell-like sounds of crickets at night. This is the ideal place for a meditation retreat and temple stay.
It is very early in the morning at 4:30am. A dense fog has descended upon the valley and the deep silence is broken by the sound of the huge temple bell. Within the main cultivation hall the Abbot of the temple pounds the bell with chanting a ceremony that has continued for hundreds of years. Next the large drum has sounded reminding participants of the call of the dharma at the beginning of each day. The morning crisp air is perfumed with the scent of incense. The morning chanting liturgy begins. It is in these special morning hours that the meditation retreat participants start their day in this Chinese temple stay. At the end of the liturgy the lights are dimmed and there is deep silence again during meditation before breakfast.
As the day continues the Retreat Master, Malcolm Hunt, takes participants of the temple stay through a meditation experience which starts with simple mindfulness of breathing. Gradually the meditation retreat takes participants through Pure Land Buddhist meditation and chanting, Tonglen and finally to diminish the hold of the ego, Naikan meditation.
A temple stay in a Qing Dynasty temple in China gives the participant the opportunity to discover themselves and to refresh the spirit and to come away changed even in some small way.
Guang Jue Temple is situated only ten kilometres from the world heritage listed Tianmushan national park which boasts of breathtaking mountain scenery, rushing mountain streams and the oldest Ginko Bilbao trees in the world. Many of the meditation retreat participants take the opportunity to visit this part of China and immerse themselves in nature and history.
A temple stay in an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple is more than a meditation retreat and learning experience. It may also be life changing.
Key Words: meditation retreat, Chinese temple stay, China, temple stay
Brief: A temple stay in a Qing Dynasty temple in China gives the participant the opportunity to discover themselves and to refresh the spirit and to come away changed even in some small way. A meditation retreat in a Chinese Buddhist temple can have a powerful effect on the spirit.